Monday, September 22, 2014
Text Size

Editorial: A lesson in hope for First Nations

Calgary Herald

The handing over of education to Canada's First Nations is a rejuvenating moment for aboriginal communities. The $1.25 billion over three years which the federal government has committed to the initiative, is the beginning of a plan to fund instruction in language and culture, with $500 million over seven years for improving infrastructure and $160 million for implementing the handover.

First Nations schools will have to match provincial standards, just like any off-reserve school would, with certified teachers and student attendance requirements, but control will be in the hands of First Nations communities. This will make them no different in operation than school boards in cities or towns elsewhere in the province. Local control is the foundation for success because those in charge of operating the schools will live in the communities, know the students and consequently be far more perceptive and sensitive to their needs. They can then craft a school environment that better responds to those needs.

While one focus of the plan is to ensure more students graduate - with diplomas recognized offreserve by post-secondary institutions - thought should also be given to what goes on at the other end of the system, the preschoolers and kindergartners who ultimately will benefit from these changes. Getting through school successfully is one thing, but some of the money needs to target a more holistic approach. There should be outreach to parents of young children, to families who may be struggling with social ills or basic needs, and there should be provision for supplying children with warm clothing and hot meals in school should those things be lacking on a particular community. Standards, an enhanced curriculum and better infrastructure are one thing, but the well-being of the children is crucial to their learning success as well. A cold walk to school in a thin jacket or a stomach growling with hunger because there was no breakfast to be had at home are not conducive to academic achievement.

Self-government has been a goal for First Nations for decades. With the new education plan in place, a major step toward that goal has been taken. It should give new hope and a new sense of purpose to aboriginal education. For too long, too many children have had to leave their communities and board in urban areas to attend high school to pursue their dreams.

Now, they will be able to accomplish all that at home on their reserves if they so choose.

If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a community to know its own children well enough to successfully oversee their education - not just the core academic subjects, but the language and culture as well. The future for aboriginal children just got a whole lot brighter.

Whatever Trevor

Dis is Trevor.

Education & Training

Blast from the past: FP archive

When is Consultation, Consultation?

Ovide Mercredi

National Chief – AFN

During a Treaty Roundtable meeting of the Alberta Chiefs, I took note of a federal government document outlining their strategy to define and ultimately impose their own form of self-government. Read more...

Letting go of residential schools

by Gilbert Oskaboose, Nov 1993 First Perspective

There is a lot of "unfinished business" in Indian Country. Garbage that we as a people have never really dealt with. Chief among them is the whole issue of those infamous residential schools and their impact on people. Read more...


obidiah picture

ANALYSIS - Bill Gallagher

gallagher picture

Under the Northern Sky by Xavier Kataquapit

Under the Northern Sky by Xavier Kataquapit


Regional Media Officer– Temp (Until Nov 2015) –F/T Position

Office of the Leader of the Official Opposition / NDP Research Office

Location:131 Queen Street, Suite 10-02, Ottawa, ON


Communicate regularly with regional media outlets (community newspapers, radio stations, student media, ethnic media, etc.) to propose ideas for interviews and opinion content Read more...

Canadian Chamber of Commerce Aboriginal Workforce Report

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce released a report that highlights initiatives to improve the workforce participation of Aboriginal peoples. 

Opportunity Found: Improving the Participation of Aboriginal Peoples in Canada’s Workforce (December 2013)  

click image to download report

Tue Sep 23 @ 3:00PM - 04:15PM
FNHMA National Conference 2014
Sun Oct 05 @ 9:00AM - 05:00PM
INIHKD & Manitoba NEAHR Conference 2014


September 2014
31 1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 1 2 3 4

Current Video

RIP Percy Tuesday


Thanks to Althea Guiboche for allowing The First Perspective to share her video taken at the Manitowapow book launch at McNally Robinson. 

Percey sings Freddy Fender's "Wasted Days and Wasted Nights" and people join in to harmonize. 

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO): The Washington Redskins